author's notes: This is for Ivy!! Gotta love her and those damn cookies! Anyway, this is supposed to be for her birthday which was about two months ago. Um, yeah. Sorry about that. And this fic is very inspired by the song Comatose by Skillet. Hence the title. I was listening to it a lot while writing, and I didn't even realize how much the lyrics affected the storyline until I was almost done. Crazy, no?
disclaimer: …No owning on my part. Damn.
they're like a puzzle; they just won't fit together if one of them is dead
"You'll be great, Kai."
She can hear Sora's voice bouncing in the corners of her mind.
She doesn't know if he's right.
The darkness is overpowering, seeping through every crack of the night. It's like a dense fog- thick and muggy with its inky blackness enveloping every surface, every sound. Not even the radiant light from the heavens above can pierce through its shadows.
She seems so out of place in this endless abyss of misery. A princess with a heart so pure and holy as hers doesn't belong in a place of such horror. She inches forward ever so slightly, her wine-colored locks dipping into her eyes, and her keyblade drips gently with a sick combination of rain and sweat and tears.
Every movement she makes is hesitant. Every breath is controlled. Her heart thumps with anxiety and anticipation; each beat pains her chest. She exhales, and a light mist condenses in front of her face.
All she can see is the darkness. All she can hear is the pounding rain. All she can feel is the air- cold and relentless against her skin. But even with her lack of vision and hearing and touch, she can still sense.
She knows they're there.
They twitch in sharp, jerky motions, their little claws scratching at her heels, searching for her heart.
She gambles with a wild stab.
She raises the keyblade above her head, preparing for her next swing, and her arms scream for mercy from this torture. The keyblade slices through the darkness, and it's a hit.
The Shadow's feeble cry echoes around her for an instant before fading back to the sound of rain.
She swings again, stepping cautiously.
It's been hours since this battle began, and every second ticking away forces the worry against her chest. She hadn't seen Riku for the past hour, and Sora…
She hopes Sora is okay.
A sting in her hand snaps her back to the battle in front of her.
She realizes that the blisters on her palm have popped, and the mixture of pus and blood run down the length of her keyblade. She grips it harder, but her hand slides down to the hilt. Her second hand pulls around and snatches the keyblade before she drops it. Her hand twitches with pain as her salty sweat slides with the rain into the open wound. Her body aches. A Heartless claws through her leg. More blood.
She gasps for air, but it feels cold and angry and won't settle in her lungs properly. She shrieks and thrusts the keyblade in a spiral motion. A soft scream resonates, and she knows that it was a success. She hates the sound, but her lips curl into a grim smile.
She will make it.
She will do this one on her own.
Another hit. Another cry. Another smile.
She can do it. She knows she has them.
But then she hears him through the darkness, through the rain, through the gentle screams of the fading Heartless. His cry is distinct, a pitiful combination of defeat and pain, and she doesn't need her sight to know who it is.
She knows he's nearby, and she can save him (she can, she can). Her gaze rips up from the ground, scanning the area around her for her best friend. He's not there.
The glance costs her. She should have known. Riku always told her about gambling her luck away during a fight. Keep your eyes on the target, he would say with a serious tone lacing his voice, or else.
The Heartless scramble over her frail and quivering body. They laugh mirthfully (or is that crying?) in her ear, and her skin is ripped apart slowly by their claws and fangs. She falls to her knees.
It was bound to happen. (She's lying.) Her face slides against the cement, mixing blood and sweat and tears. (She's crying.)
And then she lets go. (She's dying.)
Who was she kidding when she came along on this mission? Why did she ever let Sora and Riku persuade her like that? The memories flash around her, and her heart aches for yesterday, when this whole thing was so exciting and new.
"See, you hold it like this, Kairi," Sora said, positioning her grip higher on the keyblade and pushing it across her body.
"But that's so much more uncomfortable!" Her arm dropped and hung limply at her side, the keyblade pointed slightly outward.
"You do realize we're teaching this all to you because we know what works best," he declared boastfully, sweeping his silver hair away from his face. "And look, having your hand on your hip like that is not a defensive stance in the slightest."
Kairi groaned, stomping her foot against the ground in surrender.
"If you're not gonna do what we say, you're gonna lose your heart to them again," he said seriously, clapping a hand over her shoulder. Sora walked over and gave her a feeble smile.
"We won't be able to let you come-"
"But I want to come! I can't sit around waiting forever!" she exclaimed, digging the tip of her keyblade into the hot, island sand. She saw Sora wince. He never did get quite over that whole "breaking his promise" thing last time.
"Okay," Riku sighed, breaking the tension, "Defensive stance."
She gripped her keyblade tightly, her knuckles shining white from the pressure, and smiled.
She had been so silly. Who is she to think that she could fight her own battles? She feels like a useless marionette, her arms and legs controlled by fate, dangling this way and that way.
She is a Princess, first and foremost. Princesses don't fight. They wait.
They wait at the finish line, towel in hand, prepared to congratulate their individual Prince Charming. He'll smile because he won. Because his Princess is safe and she loves him more than the world.
She loves Sora's smile. She's going to miss it terribly.
She hears a strangled scream from a distant place in her head (or is it her heart? Is it still there?), and it's getting louder and louder and closer and closer and she wants to jump up and scream, "This was bound to happen!"
But she tries and tries but she can't (she can't). So she simply floats through her personal abyss, her violet eyes fluttering against her memories.
"Urgh!" she gasped, striking down with the toy sword. Sora blocked it magnificently, frowning a bit. With a tilt of his wrist, he hit her weapon out her grip and grabbed it. He swept forward, almost too quickly for her to even see, and before she knew it, he had both swords angled perfectly against her throat, and his cerulean eyes glistened with victory.
She laughed and pushed the swords away.
"Kairi, this isn't funny," he declared angrily, slamming the swords against the sand. She stopped giggling, and her hands rose to her face.
"Sorry, Sora, it's just…"
"Just what? You think this is all some game?!" His face was inches from hers.
"Stop yelling at me! I'm doing my best!" she bellowed, her breath washing over his face.
"Kairi, I-" he said, eyes flashing with defeat. Indigo met azure, and they were lost in the silence.
"Sora," Riku said, snapping the two back into reality. "I think we need to take a break." Kairi nodded. "And that was good, Kairi, you lasted a good two minutes this time." She rubbed the muscles in her arms and smiled. Riku chuckled and walked off, the sun reflecting vigorously off his hair.
Sora sighed from behind her. She whipped around, expecting another lecture. She was trying, she really was. They were both better than her, she knew hat, but she could put up a fight, right?
The words lingered in the space between them, hanging heavily in the air. The soft, island breeze blew through her hair, and she slowly smiled.
"No, it's not. I can't believe I lost my temper like that!" He swung his arm down, his fist clenched in anger. His keyblade appeared in a flash of light. His eyes widened. She knew he hated when he summoned his weapon around her. His hand loosened, and the keyblade disappeared.
"Kairi, I can't lose you again," he whispered.
She feels like she's being ripped into a thousand pieces. Her mind wants to leave this world, to submit to the calls of Death. Her body cries for Death to take her away as well. It's aching, her blood's spilling, her lungs are screaming for oxygen.
But her heart wants to stay, just for a little bit longer. She wants to see his smile one last time. She wants to hear his laughter, loud and obnoxious and endearing. She wants to feel his hand intertwined with hers, his calluses rubbing against her skin.
She wants to tell him how much she'll miss him after she dies.
She can still feel the darkness pressing in on her soul; she can still feel the Heartless digging for her heart. And she can still hear him. Is her mind playing tricks again?
"Get away from her!" he yells. His voice is loud and angry and broken all at once, and it wraps around her ever so gently.
She feels him there; his presence is so strong (how could she not feel him like this before?). It's warm and comforting, and she doesn't feel as cold anymore.
"Dammit!" he screams, his voice cracking. The rain is cascading on her face, but she can't roll over. She hears the rain and she hears Sora and she hears the muffled cries of the Heartless fading around her.
Sora had promised to protect her.
He was just a little late.
Riku draped his arm around her shoulders and tightened his muscle in an awkward gesture of reassurance.
"You'll be great, Kai," Sora said with a brilliant flash of a grin.
"Yeah, right," she moaned, her head falling into her hands. Her stomach was churning with acid, threatening to vomit. Riku sighed.
"You can just stay on the gummi ship if you want to."
"No! I'm going to help you guys!" she exclaimed, shooting upright in a standing position. They had been trying to talk her out of coming for hours. Yeah, she was nervous. Yeah, she wasn't sure how much help she really would be. But she wasn't weak.
"Sora and I won't always be there to protect you. I know you've been practicing for weeks, but real battles are a lot different. The Heartless won't stop until they have your heart," Riku explained, "especially because you're a Princess."
Kairi groaned and rolled her eyes.
"I bet you I could beat the shit out of Snow White any day of the week-"
"I'm sure you could," Riku laughed, "But just know that we won't always have your back. You'll be alone most of the time."
Kairi nodded, and her throat closed up. She was scared, but she could do it.
Riku walked off to the front of the ship. According to Dale, they were almost at their destination.
Kairi collapsed in the chair again, and blew her bangs out of her face. Her first mission would be fine. She would succeed.
"Kairi," Sora muttered from behind her. She turned slowly and gasped.
His hand shot forward and grabbed hers. It was warm and slightly sweaty, his fingers twitching against hers, pulsating with a smooth rhythm.
"Ignore what Riku said."
Her hand fit within his so perfectly. A jigsaw puzzle, finally finished.
"I'll always be there to protect you… I'll save you."
"Kairi!" he gasps, a strangled sob evident. She wants to wake up, to tell him it's okay for her to die. It's okay that she was too weak to protect herself. It's not his fault.
His arms weave underneath her slight frame, and he pulls her closer. His cheek presses against her head, and she can feel his tears dripping onto her face. They're hot and salty and alive with agony. He squeezes her into his chest, but cries out with defeat. No matter how tight he holds her, the jigsaw doesn't seem to fit.
"Kairi, wake up!" he screams, shaking her slightly.
With every sob she hears, with every teardrop that mixes with the rain, her heart breaks a little more. (But wasn't her heart supposed to be gone?)
"Kairi, please," he murmurs. His voice is so broken that it breaks her too.
The whisper wraps around her, and she wants to tell him she loves him, that she loves him so much that it hurts.
She wants to see him and touch him and love him, but her body just won't respond. She's so frustrated, and the darkness keeps pressing on her, suffocating her, but her light is right there, it's so close.
He's so, so close.
"Let's go," Riku said, flexing his fingers out as he stepped off the ship.
Kairi glanced at the sky. One sky. One destiny. She was meant to fight tonight, to join the battle and save others. It was her fate. Or, she thought it was.
Sora kept sending her reassuring glances, and she tried her best to not burst into tears. She had never been more scared in her life. (Well, there was that one time when Sora gave his heart to save her. She had been so scared that he was never going to come back. She shuddered at the thought.) Riku kept telling her that she would be battling it out with a whole bunch of Shadow Heartless by herself. She wondered if Sora planned on keeping his promise.
He wouldn't even need to. She was going to take care of herself.
Before she knew it, Sora and Riku had run off. She saw them in the distance, sprinting up buildings and slashing Heartless. They worked as a team- and a great team at that. Kairi didn't think anyone could stop them.
She stepped forward slightly and took a deep breath. The air was crisp and slightly cold, but felt good. The sunset hovered over the horizon, and the stars just began to wink above her. It smelled like rain was on its way.
She was meant to be here… right? The message from King Mickey had informed them that the heart of some world (she couldn't really remember the name) had been opened. 'Heartless overload' was phrasing the catastrophe lightly.
Deep breath. It would be okay.
She stepped, and her keyblade appeared in her hand, twinkling gently. Instantly, the Heartless rose up from the ground.
She smiled and charged forward.
He cries loudly, and she wants to cry with him.
He strokes her face, and she wants to stroke his.
He screams, "Why?!" to the heavens above, and she wants to scream the answer.
She wasn't meant to be there. She should've waited. She shouldn't have been so careless. She shouldn't have even tried. She shouldn't have been so stupid.
Because that's all she was- a stupid, little Princess, trying to play the knight.
His tears fall onto her, and she feels them and she smells them and she tastes them and if this is dying, it's not so bad.
"Kairi, I'm sorry," he whispers in her ear. It's so loud to her, and the words struggle up her throat.
"I'm sorry, too," she wants to say.
But she can't say a thing.
What had she been thinking?
The Heartless have her surrounded, a huge circle of shivering black creatures.
They were coming closer and closer and before she knew it, she couldn't even see, the darkness was so overpowering.
Her pure, holy heart thumped meekly in her chest, each beat a reassurance that she was still alive.
She hears his heart pounding and it's so loud and beautiful that she thinks she has never heard anything quite like it before. She feels it pumping its music, and it's so unsteady and powerful that she thinks she has never felt anything quite like it before.
Then she feels hers, beating lightly in her chest, in absolute synchronization with his.
"I never got to tell him I loved him," she said, watching all light disappear from before her eyes.
The thunder rolled above her, and another waterfall of rain plummeted down.
She fights and fights and tries and tries, but nothing seems to work.
Her body is aching.
Her heart is aching.
And then she's floating.
"Don't leave me, Kai," he gasps, his fingers weaving their way through her tangled hair again and again.
She feels his hands and they feel so good. He sighs.
"…I love you."
Her chest feels like it's about to collapse, her heart is pounding so hard. Her eyelids flutter, and she can see soft line of light and-
His lips descend upon hers, and she doesn't really care that her body is broken and bleeding; it doesn't feel like it (because it's the best feeling in the world).
Her eyes snap open, and he's there. It's real, and she's not floating into nothingness anymore.
She pulls into him, savoring the moment.
"Kairi!" he says, astonishment lining his features.
"Sora," she moans softly, and he grins, his teeth shining. It's the most beautiful thing in the world.
He sniffs, still smiling. "I thought you were dead."
"I thought… I thought I was dead, too-" she starts, but he cuts her off.
"I wouldn't have been able to live without you, you know," he admits, pulling her head against his chest. His heartbeat is so fast.
"…You would've moved on," she says, the tears rolling down her cheeks uncontrollably. She clutched the back of his shirt, smelling him. It's real; he's real. She's not trapped in her memories.
"Oh, Sora, you know that's not tr-"
"A life without you isn't a life at all," he declares, leaning down to kiss her forehead.
Her eyes tilt upward. The storm had cleared; the stars twinkle down on them. He holds her in a tight hug, and their puzzle fits so well. Maybe this was just all part of fate's plan.
"You saved me," she admits quietly.
One sky. One destiny.
"Well, I promised, didn't I?"
author's notes: Um, sorry if it sucked with its fluff overload. My bad. Review?